Brake Finder

How Passenger and Race Car Brakes Differ

Automotive racing has been the development center of many innovations for passenger vehicles. One of those developments is the disk brake system.

Passenger Car Brakes

Interestingly, the first disk brakes were installed on an American electric car in 1898. However, these brakes were not successful because the friction material used was copper, which doesn’t work well in brakes. Significant improvements in disk brake technology took place in military airplanes before and during World War II.

The first use of disc brakes in passenger vehicles occurred in 1949. Chrysler used disk brakes in the Imperial line of luxury automobiles and Crosley in their Hot Shot model.

Race Car Brakes

Automotive racing first used disk brakes in 1953. Dunlop corporation adopted the hydraulic disk braking system developed for airplanes. The system was installed in a Jaguar C-Type car for the 24-hour Le Mans race. Three years later, the Triumph TR3 became the first production vehicle with disk brakes as standard equipment.

In 1962, Bendix presented US automotive manufacturers with the first 4-wheel disk braking system on its Studebaker Advant.

As the American Muscle Car revolution took hold in the mid-1960s, old drum brake systems were scrapped for disk brakes. Early Ford Mustangs and Maverick models had front drum brakes. Disk brakes eventually replaced the front drum brakes because of the increased horsepower of these cars.


Today, brake systems are specialized for the speed of modern race cars. When engaging the brakes, the energy of forward momentum is converted into heat. The design of racing car brakes allows them to withstand temperatures several hundred degrees hotter than that generated by passenger cars. These brake pads, made of extremely hard metal, need to generate a lot of heat to stop the car.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through Goodyear Brakes at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for its products when they are subjected to improper applications, installation, or accident.


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